About the Author

Ken Cole
SPS Consultancy

Ken Cole has worked in senior positions in both the public and private sectors and was one of the founding Directors of SPS in 2001. He recently completed a three year secondment as Director of the London Centre of Excellence. Ken has thrilled many public and private audiences with his incisive analysis, robust delivery and his belief in 'telling it as it is'. His blog is a regular commentary of the improvement and efficiency agenda.

Make sure you pay a frequent visit to find out Ken's latest thoughts on the workings of government, the latest policy initiatives and much more...

Recent Blog Posts...

Hijacking Procurement
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Mar 25, 2013
Mr Pickles uses the 'P word'.
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Mar 07, 2013
Haringey Leads London
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Time to rethink Supplier Evaluation
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Aug 30, 2012
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Jul 12, 2012
Collaboration at its best
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May 25, 2012
Latest Procurement Card Scare
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iESE - a model for a Big Society?
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Mar 06, 2012
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
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Feb 03, 2012

Plan Today - Save Tomorrow

Apr 20, 2009


For those of you that have not been following the progression of the global financial meltdown over the last six months, then 2012 will be a year to remember in the UK for more than just the hosting of the Olympic Games.

Financial year 2011/12 is expected to be the crunch year for public finances, as the government of the day desperately tries to find budget savings in order to offset the costs of the vast sums that it has borrowed in order to save some of the largest banks and other financial institutions. A General Election will need to be called by May 2010 and regardless of which Party wins it, they will be faced with the need for significant reductions in public expenditure. For local government, this is likely to mean real reductions in financial settlements.

Chief Executives and Treasurers across the country are already planning for this event, and procurement teams are expected to make a major contribution to the delivery of cashable savings which could reach double digit percentages. With an 18 month lead time between launching a major procurement exercise and accruing the savings, activity has to start in this financial year (2009/10).

If that is a shock to some, the other message is that targeting the usual suspects (commodities) for more savings and putting in place yet another framework contract simply won't be enough. Savings need to come from the high value areas; contracts need to be revisited to ensure performance, eliminate waste, and collaborative contracting must rapidly accelerate. Those that are planning now are in with a good chance of delivering their contribution to tough targets. Those that don't may well find themselves as the contribution by way of a P45.


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